• Question: If road safety really does exist, why do people get run over?

    Asked by fritz33 to Philippa, Pete, Paula, Neil, Matthew on 18 Mar 2015.
    • Photo: Neil Taylor

      Neil Taylor answered on 18 Mar 2015:

      Hi fritz33!

      Great question!

      Although safety is essential, nothing in life is 100% safe – we have to accept some risk in everything we do. Even things that are very unlikely *can* happen. There are also some factors that are within our control, and some that are outwith our control.

      Road safety is the balance of a whole lot of factors. Safety is one thing to consider, but there are also others such as journey efficiency (and potential effects on the economy) and environmental impact.

      It’s the judgement between the RISK on the one hand, and the SACRIFICE on the other hand. By using historic data relating to accidents, and different zones (e.g. built-up residential/suburbs/motorway) speed limits can be determined based on how much the risk is lessened for the speed sacrificed… but the risk cannot be eliminated altogether.

      There is obviously a whole lot of other factors, but the idea remains the same – it’s risk vs sacrifice (or cost vs benefit), and different people will decide to draw the line in different places!… Nothing is 100% safe, and risk cannot be eliminated.

      Hope this helps!

    • Photo: Pete Symons

      Pete Symons answered on 19 Mar 2015:

      Hi fritz33,

      Road safety is a ‘thing’ but what we are not saying is that road are 100% safe, I don;t think you can ever make something totally safe, otherwise you would have no benefit of fun! So even something as simple as playing football we know its not 100% safe, you can get injured but we play because its fun and accept the risks of getting injured. If the world was 100% safe it would be a pretty boring place. So safety is more about understanding the risks and making informed decisions!

      So back to your question, why do people keep getting run over? Road Safety is as safe as it can be without making it 100% safe otherwise cars wouldn’t be on the road, you also can;t totally count the human factor i.e. someone walking in front of car.